Message to Som Gollakota

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Woodinville, WA
Leadership - Rallying People
June 9, 2009
Leadership is the capacity and will to rally men and women to a common purpose and the character which inspires confidence.
- Bernard Montgomery, British Field Marshal
ne common theme among leaders is, people follow. When they follow, they follow in groups and crowds. They have this incredible ability to rally people together and move them in one direction. People are fired up and excited. They have one common purpose and they all know what it is. They follow willingly.
So, how does a leader rally people to a common purpose? Why do people want to follow some and not some other? Here are a few pointers. If you have a clear vision of where you want to go, a clear reason as to why, and if you are excited about the opportunities available to you when you get there, would you go? On the other hand, if you don't have any of these and someone comes along who gives you that clarity, reason and excitement, and tells you he or she is going there, would you follow? A leader, therefore,
  1. Has a clear vision of the destination
  2. Has the ability to clean the noise in chaos and orchestrate symphony
  3. Is excited and fired up about the opportunity waiting at the destination (genuinely!)
  4. Is open in sharing that vision of destination and excitement of the opportunity with others
  5. Is capable of firing up excitement in those who share the common goal
A leader knows clearly where to go - even in a situation of chaos (especially in chaos), and not shy about providing that clarity to a group of people who share (or contribute to) that chaos. A leader is not necessarily the smartest person in the room. A leader may just be that string that ties all the smart people in the room together, points in the right direction, and helps them figure out how to move. A leader may not know how to get there, but can fire up enough right people with excitement and help them figure out the how. A leader is someone who can set himself (or herself) on fire, bring people together and allow people to enjoy the warmth.